Resident Showcase: Marilyn Swenson
My name is Marilyn Swenson and I’ve lived at Landon Ridge Alamo Ranch since July 2016. Before, I was living in Floresville about an hour outside of San Antonio. I made the move because my daughter wanted me to live closer. I retired as a flight attendant with Continental Airlines after 21 years of service.
As you go through life, some stories shape you forever. On September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks involving four commercial airplanes used as targets in the United States changed the course for American life as we knew it. I was working on a flight leaving from London and heading to Denver when President George W. Bush closed down the entire airspace to avoid further attacks. As far as you could see, there were thousands of planes lined up, full of passengers and nowhere to go.
After the state of emergency was called, we spent a full 24 hours on the plane – completely unaware of the terror unfolding. Afterwards, we were sent to Halifax, Nova Scotia where everyone on the plane stayed for a week following September 11. When we landed, we were finally able to see the devastating news. It was a terrifying and surreal moment – everyone feared getting on the plane to return home to the United States.
I am so grateful to the people of Halifax – during that stressful time, they took the passengers and myself in, gave us food to eat and were among the kindest I’ve ever met. The famous advice from Fred Rogers rings true. He said, “when I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”